[extropy-chat] technological equilibrium

Spike spike66 at comcast.net
Thu Jul 15 06:07:21 UTC 2004

The past few days I have been pondering mechanisms for
technologically advanced societies entering equilibrium.
Nearly all sci-fi stories postulate advanced societies
that did not experience runaway AI and appear to be
at least stable.

The example of Japan in the 18th century was offered.
Another I thought of was Australopithecus afarensis, 
human ancestors who made stone tools in the same way 
for a million years.

What I am looking for are mechanisms that can cause
our change rate to dampen out to some constant: we
might still make progress but without an explosive
singularity event.

I ran across some old motorcycle magazines from the
1970s.  I looked them over, each stimulating memories
from my misspent childhood and youth.  Then I noticed
something: the old magazines were different from the
modern in one very striking way.  The old magazines
contained articles that were 5,6 sometimes as many as
8 pages long.  The new ones seldom have anything over
2 pages, and even then the text is abbreviated, with
more charts.  It isn't so much dumbed down (it might
be that) as it is speeded up.  The new rags are 
designed for people in a hurry.

---> Or rather around people with a very short attention span.

Are you still reading down here?  Are we getting
conditioned for hit-and-run information gathering
from the internet?  How many of you read tomes such
as Asimov's Foundation novels in your missspent youth?
Could you do it today?  Do you read long books today?
When did you stop?  About the time you took up the
internet?  Or video games?

Perhaps society's change rate will saturate or reach
some kind of equilibrium because we will overstimulate
our minds beyond our ability to maintain focus.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list